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Multi-code stars fine tune skills in Stellenbosch
- Updated: May 5, 2016
By Mark Etheridge
The nation’s leading triathlon talent took time to spend some valuable training time in Stellenbosch after Cape Town’s hosting of the Discovery World Triathlon event last month and ahead of the Rio Olympics later this year.
A day after the Cape Town event which saw Henri Schoeman and Mari Rabie ending as South Africa’s leading finishers (sixth and 17th respectively), the group got together at the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport for a five-day session.
Overseeing things were the Pretoria hpc’s Lindsey Parry and Kate Roberts, the latter a two-time Olympian herself. Also there were former national triathlete and swim coach Viv Williams and para-coach Neil MacPherson.
‘The camp was a huge success,’ Parry tells Road to Rio 2016. ‘It was a great chance for all the athletes to bond and for me to speak to them about their plans to Rio and beyond. Facilities were great bar a cold pool… the athletes are in great shape and I’m excited to see them race over the coming season.
‘We are on track for five athletes to qualify for the games with Richard Murray, Henri Schoeman and Gill Sanders all easily qualified. Mari Rabie is just about there and Wian Sullwald is on the verge. The last two both need two good races to make it happen.
‘It was also good to have a few younger athletes in Alexandra Quinet, Cindy Schwulst and Basson Engelbrecht who got to interact with senior athletes and their coaches, providing a learning opportunity for the future.
‘This was the first camp in this cycle. Most camps are based around a race and just an opportunity to catch up and support athletes leading into the race.The focus of this camp were the Rio plans, giving them the SASCOC presentation so they can see what to prepare for in Rio and to get a sense from them how we can do better for the 2020 cycle.
‘In terms of day to day training, there were typically three sessions a day. In the morning a bike or run depending on athlete’s programme, a mid-day swim and then bike or run in the afternoon. We created opportunities for the athletes to train together but also the freedom to follow own programme when needed.
‘Hence the fact that we had four coaches so that we could run four sessions simultaneously if required. Then there were a few breakaway sessions like bike skills development and working on specific swim stuff especially with the para athletes.’
Added Roberts: I believe the camp was very successful and the athletes enjoyed it. The purpose of the camp was to have a week with together with our athletes going to the Rio Olympics along with other potential athletes who will hopefully be going to the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, such as Basson and Cindy.
‘It was a week where athletes got to know one another better and learnt from one another in their training environments. We also had various meetings with athletes and their plans in the lead up to Rio, so we can give them the best opportunities for a successful race at the Games.
‘We stayed at SAS in Stellenbosch where the facilities were remarkable and our every need was catered for. I think the athletes and coaches found the time spent together valuable and hopefully we can do this on a regular basis in future.’
Athletes who attended the camp for the majority of the five days were: Murray, Schoeman, Sullwald, Sanders, Rabie, Anel Radford, Basson Engelbrecht, Cindy Schwulst, Stan Andrews and Anton Swanepoel, the last two being para-athletes.
In the picture are (from left to right): Radford, Andrews, Cindy Schwulst, Sullwald, Roberts, Engelbrecht, Rabie, Quinet, Williams, Swanepoel and Schoeman.